Rowing Machines Are a New Form of Torture

April 24 2020 Eimear Collins Transition Year

The start of this pandemic was quite a sudden one. After two months of hearing about this strange ‘coronavirus’ in China (and joking about it), everything changed when it hit Ireland.

No one could have predicted how crazy this would get, and then, on the 12th of March Leo Varadkar announced the school closures! Of course, my initial thought, just like everyone else, was YES! It wasn’t long until I was wishing I was back, going from class to class and laughing with my friends.

The start of this confinement was not what I expected it to be. I thought this would be a great chance to meet some neighbors I hadn’t seen in ages. Unfortunately, this only lasted a few days until Leo announced a national lockdown.

This is where things started to get difficult. No meeting up with friends, staying 2km of your house, social distancing: this was all that was in store for the next few weeks. It took me a while to realise how serious this situation was, and I must admit I was tempted to meet up with friends, despite Leo’s orders. I decided that the more people meet with friends, the longer this will take so I sensibly decided against meeting up with people.

Before this pandemic, my day consisted of two things; rowing and school. I barely had any time to myself, so I decided that this would be a great opportunity to learn new skills.

This is easier said than done. For some reason, even though I have nowhere to be and nothing to do, the day still seems to slip away from me. I started a new TV show called Grey’s Anatomy and this has taken up a significant amount of my time.

The highlight of my day is going running. I was also allowed to borrow a rowing machine from my rowing club but in my humble opinion that machine is a method of torture, so I decided to give running a try. For the last 4 weeks I have tried to run around 5km a day. I never realized how much I enjoyed running until now. I listen to music on my run and smile and wave at my neighbors, some who I haven’t seen in years.

Every day I try to get a better time than the last, and I am a very competitive person so this has not worked very well.

I also have done a significant amount of baking. At times, I get a mad burst for baking late some nights, and then there’s nothing stopping me! I have made cookies, cakes, flapjacks: you name it! This is another highlight of my day. I have also done a lot of online shopping, but my favorite purchase has been the photos I have printed for my room. These are photos of me and my friends, and I have stuck around my room. The only thing getting me through this is the thought of summer and seeing my friends again. I can’t wait!